ATHLETES using the Baguio Athletic Bowl are dismayed over the slow paced repairs being undertaken by the City Government on a water heater that bogged down last July 24, leaving the facility's swimming pool useless.

Members of the national triathlon squad were also dismayed over the bogged down water heater although efforts are currently being undertaken for its immediate repair.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

"It was just a waste of time. We went up to Baguio for our high altitude training but we were not able to maximize our training here," said an anonymous member of the triathlon squad.

But the City government has been pursuing its repair, according to City Sports Coordinator Edison Villafuerte.

"We have been asking the mayor for the necessary funding and at the same time, we will await for Beneco's recommendation because they are the one who is capable of doing the repair," said Villafuerte.

The current state of the swimming pool inside the aging Baguio Athletic Bowl has revived the talks on the need to separate Athletic Bowl concerns from those that are purely tourism to give it the attention it rightfully deserves.

Former city administrator and now Councilor Peter Fianza has been pushing for the separation, saying a gray area exists between sports and tourism matters giving life to the term "sports-tourism," He also said the investment plans in the area could be made more effective if one concern does not overlap with another.

Fianza also noted that the separation would lead to "focused legislation" and funding that would finally end the impasse on funding projects within the Burnham Park reservation.

The whole park is currently being managed by the City Environment and Parks Management Office.

It is only the swimming pool complex at the Athletic Bowl's far end that is currently being managed by the City Administrator's Office through its Sports Division.

Fianza also pushed for the coming up of a measure separating the sports facility from the park system to come up with a separate trust fund for Athletic Bowl.

He said the city "could then appropriate part of its yearly budget in the trust fund above the facility's earnings until it reaches an amount enough to start an honest-to-goodness overhaul and not mere piecemeal development effort of the area."

A trust fund for the whole park exists to bankroll expenses on park maintenance and wages of park personnel.